Transitioning yourself or a loved one to a nursing home facility can be challenging enough on its own, but paying for the long-term care adds additional strain. Thankfully, with some advanced planning, you can take steps now to preserve your assets if nursing home care becomes necessary in the future.

Medicaid long-term care planning can involve a variety of strategies that involve your financial holdings, your real estate, your insurance holdings and other financial assets you own. Whether a particular solution is right for you and your family will depend on your specific situation and the laws in your state. Speaking with a knowledgeable Medicaid lawyer is the best way to plan ahead and make informed decisions before a crisis situation. The attorneys at Pierro, Connor, & Strauss stay abreast of the legal landscape to offer top-notch counsel to New York individuals and families who are planning for nursing home care.

Call us today for a consultation

Considerations in Medicaid long term care planning

Successful planning for long-term care involves in-depth individualized analysis. Some of the factors that can affect your strategy include:

  • The assets that you have available – Assets that can affect Medicaid eligibility include but are not limited to: cash, investments, real property, vehicles and life insurance policies;
  • Income sources – In most circumstances, once covered by Medicaid, income directed to the spouse who needs care goes to pay the cost of the care. A spouse who is living independently can keep income directed to him or her, up to a statutory limit. If the spouse living in the community does not earn up monthly income up to the statutory limit, the community spouse may be eligible to receive some additional income from their spouse who is receiving Medicaid;
  • Marital status – As with income sources, a Medicaid applicant’s exemptions and allowances will be impacted by whether they have a spouse who can live independently;
  • Dependents – If the Medicaid applicant has disabled dependents or dependents under the age of 21, certain assets will be exempted as they are for an independent spouse;
  • Timing – Medicaid planning typically involves transferring assets in advance of when the actual care is needed. Ideally, Medicaid planning should begin at least five years before a long-term care facility will likely be needed to avoid lookback problems and Medicaid penalties.

A large component of Medicaid eligibility is based upon financial eligibility. The experienced Medicaid planning lawyers at Pierro, Connor, & Strauss, LLC always look at the big picture to determine the strategies that are right for our clients.

Types of Medicaid planning tools available in New York

Successful Medicaid planning results in Medicaid paying for nursing home care while preserving your money and other assets for your needs and your family. However, the available strategies to meet this end are dependent upon your location as laws differ greatly between different states.

Some of the Medicaid planning tools that are often used in New York include:

  • Placing assets into a trust, including a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
  • Purchasing long-term care insurance
  • Use of promissory notes
  • Making gifts to intended beneficiaries
  • Changing ownership of family assets

New York allows individuals to transfer most non-retirement plan assets (including real property) to a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, but the creator must give up some control over the trust, including the ability to directly withdraw principal. This has the effect of reducing the value of the creator’s Medicaid estate while still protecting the assets within the trust.

Consult with a Medicaid planning attorney

Medicaid planning is most effective when done at least 5 years in advance of when care is needed, but some steps can be taken to improve your situation, even if the time for a Medicaid application is quickly approaching.

If there is any chance that you may seek Medicaid assistance for nursing home care, speak with an elder care planning lawyer at Pierro, Connor, & Strauss as soon as possible. Call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Albany Medicaid planning lawyers.

Life Happens…..Are You Prepared?

Contact us today for a FREE consultation and we’ll be happy to help take the worry out of tomorrow so you can live today.